Fischer's Fab 5

"The sound is massive." -- Ohio State University Marching Band Director Jonathan Waters.

"There's nothing like it." -- Columbus Symphony Orchestra Resident Staff Conductor Albert-George Schram.

Both men were speaking about the annual tradition that is the orchestra and Ohio State band performing a combined concert for the orchestra's Picnic With the Pops series.

The music is special (unique arrangements done specifically for these combined ensembles) and fun, and it serves (The Beat has always felt) as the first reminder that football season is not far off.

It's like a giant tailgate party!

A fireworks show follows the concerts, which are set for Friday and Saturday, July 26 and 27, on the Columbus Commons. Tickets at the gate are $25/$8.



Last year, Everclear and Sugar Ray co-headlined the inaugural Summerland Tour. Sugar Ray frontman Mark McGrath had so much fun he decided there should be two, and that his band should headline the splinter version.

Thus, Under the Sun Tour 2013 was born. Like its predecessor, Under the Sun features big-time '90s acts, reliving all the fun of post-grunge rock from that decade. Joining Sugar Ray (Every Morning) are Smash Mouth (All Star), Gin Blossoms (Hey Jealousy), Vertical Horizon (Everything You Want) and Fastball (The Way).

The tour visits Lifestyle Communities Pavilion Friday, July 26. Tickets are $30/$15.



Canadian-born Jordan Cook -- aka ReignWolf -- is a modern blues-rocker with some throwback chops. The Beat hears a little Paul Rodgers in his voice and a little Gary Moore in his playing. No less than the late, great Jeff Healey once introduced Cook as the finest player in the world.

And yet he's more known for his ferocious one-man shows, raw and rip-roaring jams during which Cook careens about the stage, wailing, flailing and regaling the audience with his blues-rock tunes, self-accompanied on guitar and kick drum.

ReignWolf plays the A&R Music Bar Saturday, July 27. Tickets are $10.



Tina & Her Pony is Tina Collins (makes sense) and Quetzal Jordan (umm).

The pair met by chance in 2009 in their hometown of Asheville, N.C., and forged a quick and natural musical partnership that features Collins on banjo, ukulele and guitar and Jordan on cello and guitar, and the both of them on sweet, folkie harmonies of the melodic and modern variety.

Stuff from the duo's self-titled debut CD is decidedly low-fi, arty and wondrous.

Nearing the end of an 18-month tour in support of said CD, Tina & Her Pony plays Kafe Kerouac Saturday, July 27.



CATCO c-o-n-c-l-u-d-e-s its summer of musicals with the joyously comic The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, running July 31 through Aug. 18 in the Riffe Center Studio One Theatre.

The Tony Award winning musical is a whimsical delight, packed with songs like I'm Not That Smart, My Friend the Dictionary and Prayer of the Comfort Counselor. It chronicles the angst of six grade-school overachievers as they learn some important lessons while competing for a spelling championship.

For ticket and show time information, visit

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